Indoor plants grown in pots require fertilising to replenish the nutrients in its soil. The reason being that the plants are consuming all the nutrients in their contained pot, once they use up all the nutrients in the pot they start to crave them and will require a feed to remain healthy and vibrant.
Why indoor plants need fertilisers?
Plants grown in the ground have the ability to absorb nutrients and spread their roots deep and wide; they also obtain many outside goodies from Mother Nature, however, with indoor plants you have to give them the nutrients to keep them healthy all year round. It is always best to check your care instructions to note the best times or amounts to fertilise, but generally, you want to make sure you do not over fertilise your indoor plants as this can do more harm than good.
Fertilisers are made up of essential nutrients, which usually includes three macro-nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK). These macro-nutrients are mixed at specific ratios for your plants to grow, fruit or flower. Nitrogen is an essential component of photosynthesis and producing new tissues, which is particularly important for the development of healthy leafy plants like the Fiddle Leaf Fig. Feeding a fruiting or flowering plant with too much nitrogen may discourage the plant to produce fruits or flowers. Phosphorus encourages root growth, set buds and flowers. If you have plants that are grown for its foliage and flowers, you may want a fertiliser with higher phosphorus ratio. Potassium improves the overall health of plants and helps regulate metabolic activities. It is also important that the fertiliser contains a small number of micro-nutrients, which are also essential to every plant’s metabolic pathway.
Fertilisers come in different forms including liquid, powder and slow-release. While slow-release fertilisers are convenient, where a single application can last up to 6 months, liquid and water-soluble form fertilisers are often preferred because nutrients are immediately absorbed and are easy to dilute to a strength that will not harm the plants.
How to fertilise
It is best to fertilise when the plants are actively growing, usually in spring to summer. Recently potted plants and low-light plants will not require fertiliser.
Tidy your plant by removing any dead leaves sitting on the soil, and trim off any brown or yellowing leaves with a clean pair of scissors or secateurs. Removing dead leaves will help your plant focus its energy on the healthy leaves.
Make sure the plant has been watered prior to fertilising. This allows the plant to soak the fertiliser evenly. If using a liquid fertiliser, we recommend you dilute it by half of the recommended application as too much fertiliser can damage your plants. Slowly pour the fertiliser evenly over the top of the soil until water begins to drip from the drainage hole. To apply slow-release fertiliser, using a glove, take a small amount of the fertiliser and sprinkle it around the soil.
You can also foliar feed your plants by spraying directly with a foliage spray like the Indoor Foliage Spray by Munash Organics, as plants can actually absorb nutrients through their leaves more efficiently than through their roots.